Author | Title | Rating | Latest
A book review by Steven Wu
August 02, 2009
|Rating: 4 (of 10)|
Unfortunately, Spin is less concerned with these questions than with the far duller drama between Tyler and his childhood friends, Diane and Jason Lawton, as they grow up in a changed world. Wilson has a habit of writing about ordinary people witnessing extraordinary events, and sometimes he even does it well, as in The Chronoliths. Here, however, Wilson's grasp of his characters' inner lives is far less sure than his careful explanation of the Spin, and after a few too many passages of stilted dialogue and shallow psychologizing I began skipping ahead to the next passage of exposition.
Even that technique didn't cure all of the book's problems, because for all its grandeur the Spin ends up being too straightforward to be interesting. At least in this book (which, admittedly, is the first of a trilogy), the Spin ends up being nothing more than a puzzle piece, with Wilson working through the ramifications of its time-dilating effects on satellite technology, space travel, etc. The really interesting questions about the Spin -- its origin, its purpose, etc. -- receive only some half-hearted speculation and no real resolutions until an enormous unforeshadowed event at the end of the book.
That event is so huge that it essentially replaces the mystery of the Spin with an even larger conundrum. Other people might enjoy this speculative escalation, which sets up the sequel nicely. To me, it just felt like I'd wasted my time with this book.
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